“We have sanctioned Rs 134 crores from our state budget to buy Covid-19 vaccines. We also need to be aware that ten big states including Maharashtra, Delhi, Karnataka and West Bengal have been identified for distribution of vaccines first due to significantly more Covid-19 cases,” Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb said in a video message.
While the third phase of vaccination from May 1 would make everyone above 18 years eligible to take the jab, Deb urged to ensure priority to elderly citizens and healthcare workers above 45 years as the state needs to have adequate vaccines in stock.
“Vaccination would be done in a phased manner. We need to keep enough doses in stock,” he said.
While the state is prepared to vaccinate those above 18, it doesn’t have any confirmation yet on the supply of vaccines, said National Health Mission director Dr Siddharth Shiv Jaiswal, hinting that the rollout of the third phase of vaccination may even be delayed.
“We have been in touch with the vaccine manufacturers on a regular basis. We are yet to receive any positive response from their side. It is not possible for us to start vaccination from May 1 till we get a confirmation on supply,” he said.
Earlier this month, Jaiswal had said administration of doses in the third might be delayed as vaccine manufacturers have not given the green light to supplies to the state.
More than 90% of frontline workers were covered in the first phase while 65% of the targeted beneficiaries (those above 60 as well as 45 and above with comorbidities) have received the jab in the second phase so far,” the CM added.
He thanked the healthcare workers and other frontline warriors and professionals such as journalists, doctors, lecturers, teachers, clubs, the civil society as well as political parties for playing a proactive role in combating the pandemic last year and called on them to make a similar effort this year as well.
The CM added that Tripura has fared well with regard to enforcement of Covid-19 protocols and it has been possible through the use of face masks, hand sanitizers and ensuring social distancing.
He also thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for announcing free ration for people in the Below Poverty Line (BPL) and Antodaya categories across the country in May and June. He also urged citizens to extend a helping hand to needy people in their respective localities.
Registration for the third phase of vaccination would open on the CoWin portal from April 28.
Tripura currently has an overall caseload of 34,429, while active cases are at 627.